Forum stands defiant

2015-01-06 00:00

PHUMLANI Mfeka, an outspoken member of the controversial Mazibuye African Forum, has announced his resignation from the organisation, but remains unapologetic about the anti-Indian remarks he and the forum became known for.

He said he would “negotiate” with colleagues to see what other role he could play, and would also look to pursue his studies. Mfeka described himself as a member and volunteer of the forum. Mfeka said his statements were true and needed to be made. He said he did not regret the remarks he had made and would retract nothing.

“From what I have said, there is nothing that I would take back; there is nothing that I regretted. The things that I said have been thought about for a long time and they have been said before. The people that were offended were just being in denial. The descendants of the indigenous people are still suffering today … There is a need for radical economic transformation and land must be returned,” he said.

Mfeka and Mazibuye launched an attack against Indians in South Africa in May 2013. Their attacks angered minority groups, and the provincial government distanced itself from the forum.

Mfeka also racially attacked Newcastle mayor Afzul Rehman in a column published in City Press.

After Rehman had complained about a traffic officer who called him a Gupta, Mfeka accused him of “grandstanding” against an African person.

In the column he accused Indians of being racist towards Africans. “Indians in this province have been unequivocally racist towards Africans from the time they were brought here by the British,” he said.

Mfeka said what he had hoped to achieve with the forum had been achieved. “I wanted to create space for the dialogue for the indigenous people and that has been achieved.”

In his resignation letter he said he believed he had done his part and it was up to others to carry the work forward.

Advocate Ashin Singh of the South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) congratulated Mfeka on his decision to pursue his studies. “Hopefully this will lead to him becoming a more educated person. He can pass on that education to the other members of Mazibuye.”

Singh said it was sad that the forum had created racial tensions.

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